Straight Up Brands, Inc. -- (PINKSHEETS: STRU) (the "Company") www.straightupbrands.com -- an emerging developer and global marketer of premium branded wines and spirits headquartered in New York, today announced the composition of its senior management team. Vincent Viola, a wine and spirits industry expert, and David McCallen, an investment banking and marketing expert, lead the company as President and CEO respectively.
David McCallen has over 20 years of experience in marketing and finance. Mr. McCallen was a product-marketing consultant at Bell Atlantic, NYNEX and Pacific Telesis's broadband interactive services joint venture, TELE-TV; the Director of Marketing at a NASDAQ-listed technology company; and the Director of Marketing at a Silicon Valley data networking company. He worked at an investment-banking firm, where he focused on capital raising and strategic consulting. He began his Wall Street career in the marketing department of EF Hutton before moving to Investment Dealers Digest as a Research Analyst. He then was a founding partner of a successful NY-based financial investor relations firm. For the past 3 years, he was the Executive Vice President and a Director of a Wall Street public company providing proprietary equity research and registered investment advice.
Vincent Viola has been the principal of Rappin Brands Imports for the past 12 years. Mr. Viola has already created several branded products that are being sold, including Sizzurp and the first colored tequilas on the market, Gecko Blue and Gecko Black. He is an equity partner in a subsidiary of Roc-a-Fella Records, Diplomat Records, and created Hoodlife records in affiliation with Damon Dash, the CEO of Roc-a-Fella Records. Mr. Viola is an equity partner of VLIMSA, an importing and distribution company with offices in Mexico, as well as a retail liquor and wine shop in New York. Previously, he worked for Gallo Wine Distributors as their New York sales representative and for Kadem Wine and Spirits, where he created and marketed several new wine products and flavored rums.
The Company's primary wine expert is Advisory Board member Paul Davis, who has been in the wine business for 40 years and is the founder and President of Maison Jomere, a national import company specializing in fine European wines and niche spirits, including organic vodka and gin. Previous to Maison Jomere, Mr. Davis developed the marketing strategy that enabled Castel Freres, the largest negociant in France, to enter the U.S. market. Once completed, he was offered and accepted the position of President for their U.S. operations. Sales figures after two years reached 250,000 cases, which equates to 4.3% of the total cases of French wine sold in the United States. Mr. Davis was also a Directeur of Bouffet, France, where he opened their U.S. office and established their presence in the United States market.
Straight Up brings together world-class spirit products and a powerful and innovative marketing strategy with a management team committed to increasing market penetration, increasing gross sales and net profits, and the maximization of shareholder value.
The Company has 20 million shares outstanding with 5 million shares in the float and 15 million shares of restricted shares owned by management and founding shareholders. All restricted shares have been locked up from sale for 24 months in order to show the commitment of management to the long-term growth of the Company. A substantial majority of the float is owned by investors who are committed to the growth of the Company and maximization of shareholders' value as the Company continues to execute its business plan of introducing all of its brands to the market in the next few months, as well as its acquisition strategy of acquiring brands and companies that are synergistic to its present and future distribution and marketing system established by the Company.
About Straight Up Brands, Inc.
Straight Up Brands, Inc. develops, produces, and markets branded wine and alcoholic beverages through collaborations with artists, DJs and other influential celebrities. The Company's premium branded products are within three growing categories of the spirits industry: wine, vodka and liqueurs/cordials. The Company's first product brought to market is Bracco Wine; future products include Foxy Brown's sparkling wine, Storm Vodka with DJ Clue, MoMo Mojito with Ja Rule, and Gravity Blue Long Island iced tea with Magic Juan. The Company anticipates adding to these product lines with additional celebrity endorsements prior to the end of 2006, and continuing through 2007. Leveraging the marketing power of artists combined with the current growth and solid profit margins in the spirits industry, the Company is well positioned for strong revenue growth, earnings and success.
The Company has distribution contracts with 10 distributors, including Southern Wine and Spirits, Opici and Stoller, who distribute the Company's products in 17 states.
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Statements about Straight Up Brands, Inc.'s expectations, including future revenues and earnings, and all other statements in this press release other than historical facts are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and as the term is defined in the Private Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Straight Up's actual results could differ materially from expected results. Straight Up's undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements to reflect subsequently occurring events or circumstances. Should events occur which materially affect any comments made within this press release; Straight Up will appropriately inform the public.
Investor Relations Contact:
Gerald Kieft or Ryan Audin
Wall Street Resources, Inc.
2646 SW Mapp Road, Suite 303
Palm City, Florida 34990